Called to be free!
Scripture reading for August 21st: Galatians 5
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.. . . .You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5:1, 4)
Paul continued to exhort the church to stand in the total freedom of Christ! The keeping of the Old Testament law was a yoke of slavery that Christ had freed them from. If they went back to that slavery, they would be alienated from the saving grace of their Lord Jesus! It is possible to fall away from His freedom and grace!
Only a relationship with Jesus Christ brings true freedom! Christ called us to be free from human effort to save ourselves or to pay for our own sins. But our freedom is not a freedom to continue in sin either! “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:13-15) Gossip and back-biting are sins of the flesh. We are free, but must not indulge our sinful tendencies!
“So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” . . .”But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:16,18) Paul’s advice to this church is helpful to us as well! The Holy Spirit leads believers into a life of freedom and deliverance from the sinful nature. Through the Spirit we can live a life of loving our neighbor as God intends!